Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena supremo, dies



NEW DELHI: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, who has been critically ill for the last few days, has died on Saturday at 3:30pm, his doctor announced.

According to the doctor, Bal Thackeray died at 3:30pm.

Earlier, Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' said that "Thackeray is recovering and there is no need to worry. Our warrior is fighting."
Source - times of india

Sinofsky exit first step in plan by Ballmer to remodel Microsoft, take on Apple & Google

SEATTLE/SAN FRANCISCO: The sudden departure of powerful Windows boss Steven Sinofsky this week is the first step in a plan by CEO Steve Ballmer to remodel Microsoft Corp as a much more integrated operation in an attempt to take on Apple Inc andGoogle Inc at their own game.

After nearly 13 years at the helm of the world's largest software maker, which just launched its first own-brand computer, sources inside the company say Sinofsky's departure signals Ballmer's new-found focus on co-operation between its self-sufficient - and sometimes warring - units.

"What I'm hearing over and over is collaboration and horizontal integration is the new mantra," said one Microsoft insider, who asked not to be named. "They (top management) understand that, if they don't move to a model where devices and software are more integrated across the entire Microsoft system, they are in a weak position."

After floundering for most of the last decade, Microsoft is trying emulate the way Apple's software and hardware - such as iTunes and the iPhone - work perfectly together; or how Google's online suite from Web search to YouTube and Gmail are seamlessly joined.

Microsoft - which Ballmer rechristened as a "devices and services company" last month - has all the parts, analysts say, but has failed to put them together. Now Ballmer looks set to reshape the company to try to make that a reality.

"I certainly expect the org chart to look a lot different six months from now," said Brad Silverberg, who ran the Windows unit during its massive growth spurt in the 1990s. "There will be attrition from Steven's (Sinofsky's) people and Steve Ballmer will have a chance to create a more harmonious organization."

Ballmer replaced Sinofsky with two executives with a reputation for co-operation. The move marks the third time in the last few years that Ballmer has replaced a single unit head with two leaders sharing responsibilities.

"Sinofsky really centralized all the power under himself. We'll see how it shakes out from here," said one manager in the Windows unit.

More fundamental organizational shifts could be in the cards.

"A lot of things are up for grabs," said David Smith at tech research firm Gartner. "How the management is structured - there could be more changes."

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Sinofsky, a 23-year Microsoft veteran, built up a walled empire around his Windows unit.

His hard-charging but methodical style, which took on the name "Sinofskyization," alienated other groups in the company, especially the Office unit, the other financial pillar of Microsoft's success.
Source - economic times

India's public health system has collapsed: Jairam Ramesh



Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said on Friday that India's public health system had "collapsed" in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. Jairam Ramesh, known as a maverick with often outspoken views, stressed that 70 per cent of spending on health was out of people's own pockets, making it the single most important reason for indebtedness in rural areas.

"We all know that the health system in India has collapsed," he told a forum in New Delhi.

"India is a unique country in the world where 70 per cent of expenditure is private expenditure at a time when most other countries are having a debate on how to increase public investment in health," he added.

"In many poor areas of India, the public health system simply does not exist."

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